Palestine Economy Portal
The Israeli Electricity Company plans to cut electricity to parts of the occupied West Bank to pressure the Palestinian Authority to pay off its 1.7 billion shekels debt, Israel's state broadcaster “Kan” reported Saturday night.
According to the channel, the company will be able to cut off power in two weeks, after the Knesset elections scheduled for September 17.
The cut will be gradual, starting with cutting off entire villages.
The channel estimates that the political level, Israeli government, will not oppose power cuts, but will demand a "restraint" from the company.
The company informed the Israeli Prime Minister, the Finance and Energy Ministers, and the coordinator of the occupation activities in the West Bank of its intention to cut electricity due to the debts imposed on the electricity company in East Jerusalem.
According to the Supreme Court's decision last July, the power company can cut off power after notifying the competent authorities for 35 days.
Last August, it was reported in the Marker newspaper that the Israeli Ministry of Finance was moving to transfer an estimated 500 million shekels to the electricity company from the Palestinian taxes (clearing) collected by the occupation authorities, on the grounds of repaying accumulated debts to the Palestinian Authority. Electricity.
According to the economic affairs newspaper, the Israeli Electricity Company obtained the approval of the Ministry of Finance to collect half a billion shekels from the Palestinian tax funds after the PA stopped paying the electricity company payments in February.
The Palestinian Authority has stopped making payments following the decision of the Israeli occupation authorities to deduct part of the Palestinian tax funds, as a punitive measure, under the pretext of the financial benefits provided by the Authority to the families of martyrs and prisoners in the Israeli jails.
In May 2018, the Israeli government announced that it had reached an agreement to settle the Palestinian Authority's owed 2.8 billion shekels (NIS) debt to the Israeli Electricity Company. However, the final contract was not signed between the parties. The Palestinian Authority began to settle debts and make payments, but stopped following its decision to stop receiving cleared funds from the occupation authorities.
In February, the Security and Political Affairs Cabinet (CABINET) allowed the Ministry of Finance to freeze a sum of Palestinian tax funds and transfer it directly to the Israeli Electricity Company to pay off the "accumulated debts" of the Palestinian Authority.